Jennifer K. Cosham
7000, Brink Road, Laytonsville, Montgomery County
The Layton House is a 2-story brick Federal-style house with a three-bay Flemish bond main (north) facade and a gable roof. The front door, in the west bay, has three-light sidelights and a multi-paned transom. The windows, all 6/6 double hung sash with shutters, have stone sills and wooden lintels, the latter ending with bulls-eye design impost blocks. A cornice below the eaves consists of three courses of brick, the lowest of headers, the middle of angled bricks, and the highest of stretchers. On the east end, which is laid up in common bond, the double chimney stacks are joined by a curtain which rises above the ridge of the roof. There is a single window between the stacks at the attic level, and there are two second-floor windows at the extreme ends of the walls. A later, gable-roofed addition projects from the end wall at the first floor level and shelters the entrance to the cellar. The west end wall, also of common bond brick, is blank except for a single window centrally positioned at the first floor level. On the south end is a common bond brick, two-story addition with a two-story galleried porch along the east side and a shed roof sloping from west to east. The addition has a brick stack rising in the southwest corner and a second stack along the west wall. Several outbuildings stand on the property, including a log slave quarters which was moved here from its former location up the road. It has a three-bay facade with a central doorway and flanking windows. A small internal chimney on the north end is intended for a stove flue. The quarters is one room with a small, boxed staircase leading to the loft. In construction, the inner and outer surfaces of the logs are squared, while the upper side has an inverted V profile so that it fits into notches on the lower side of the adjoining perpendicular log. The gable ends are clapboarded.
The Layton House, built by the family from whom the town takes its name, is in a part of Montgomery County that was sparsely settled by holders of large tracts of land until the Revolutionary War era and that was never to see many houses built in a formal Federal or Greek Revival style. It is remarkable, therefore, that the first house built in the present town and the focal point around which Laytonsville developed, is a self-consciously Federal-style house of a plan and form that was very popular in early 19th century Montgomery County. Lying at the intersection of the Old Baltimore Road and the road from Washington and Mechanicsville (now Olney) to Damascus and Frederick, the house stood on a natural site for a small commercial and trade center. Since it lay in Cracklin District, the earliest name for the town was Cracklintown. As late as 1878, the G.M. Hopkins Atlas refers to it as "Cracklintown or Laytonsville P.O.," the first name reflecting the geographical location and the second the name of the postmaster. Both names are found in the 1850 census, but in the list of principal villages, only the nomenclature "Laytonsville" appears. Thus, by 1850, the Layton family were prominent enough to have imprinted their name on the town although the older usage persisted.